LANCASHIRE LIGHTNING 176/2 Livingstone 79, Lilley *42 Patterson 1-28 YORKSHIRE VIKINGS 175/4 Lyth 60, Root 51* Parkinson 2-38, Clark 1-23
Lancashire Lightning bt Yorkshire Vikings by 1 run
A massive crowd at the Emirates Old Trafford, witnessed a breathtaking finish to the 26th War of the Roses instalment in the Vitality T20 Blast on Friday night as the ‘Red Rose County’ prevailed by a single run to beat their roses counter-parts and remain top of the group in the North section.
It looked for most of the day that no play would take place due to rain falling most of the late afternoon to early evening. However, the cricketing gods saw fit to have the rain stop and reduce the game to a 14-overs a side match that saw no lack of effort from either side, as the game was played in a brilliant spirit and ended up being one of the greatest Roses matches in T20 history.
Both sides were allowed to play their England Internationals for game which is viewed as one of the ‘Jewels’ in the English cricketing county calendar. A near sell-out crowd watched on at Old Trafford, as England’s Jos Buttler and recent Lions player Liam Livingstone got the Lightning off to flyer, with mostly Livingstone smashing the Yorkshire bowling attack to all parts of the ground.
After four overs into the Lancashire Innings, it saw the Red Rose side making 48/0 with bowler David Willey being hit for 24-runs in his opening two overs. Livingstone brought up the Lightning’s fifty with the first ball of the 5th over before hesitation involving the Lancashire’s openers saw Jos Buttler being run out with a great throw by Liam Plunkett to send the England man on his way for 16.
The big hitting carried on though for the Lightning, as Aaron Lilley came out to join Livingstone and saw him scoring 22 in 10 balls to keep the momentum up for the home side. Yorkshire then got the prized wicket of Liam Livingstone for 79, after an incredible catch by England captain Joe Root flung himself to his left to make the grab and see Lancashire two down for 120 early on in the 10th over.
It saw Yorkshire Vikings needing to come out on fire after their bowlers had failed in the Lightning’s Innings. The Vikings opening batsman in Adam Lyth started the reply strong for visiting side after he smashed his way to quick and brilliant half-century from just 21 balls faced.Aaron Lilley (42*) and Jordan Clark (36*) smashed 54 runs from the remaining 3.3 overs to help take the hosts from 120/2 to finish strongly and posting a total of 176/2 from their 14 overs. It was a total that was the 37th highest score in T20s at Old Trafford, but it was the highest ever when restricted to less than 15 overs.
The Required Run Rate (RRR) saw the ‘White Rose’ side needing to score at 13 runs an over and saw the Lancashire bowlers keeping a tight line and restricted the Vikings scoring. All was going well for the Lancs’ until Toby Lester went for 23 in second over. Adam Lyth then went to go big at the end of the Matt Parkinson’s over with the Lancashire spinner picking up his first wicket after captain Liam Livingstone took the catch in front of the pavilion to see Lyth departing for a knock of 60.
With the loss of Lyth for the Vikings, it saw their run rate starting to grow and see them now needing 14-runs per over to win and required 87 runs from the remaining 36 balls. Yorkshire opener David Willey, who had a poor game by his standards, then saw him quickly stumped by Jos Buttler for 20 and see Yorkshire 90/2. Joe Root then came out to bat with Liam Plunkett and saw the two Vikings batters looking to get the ‘White Rose’ side back in the game.
Root and Plunkett looked to be putting the wheels in motion for perhaps a comeback in the game, that was until Jordan Clark bowled Plunkett out for 19 and seemed give the home side a bit of a boost. Tim Bresnan then came to crease next for the Vikings, and looked to be a real thorn in the side for the Lancs’ again in a Roses contest, if you pardon the pun.
However, on this night he wouldn’t be the man to cause the Lightning side many problems despite scoring a quick-fire 12. Next in was Yorkshire’s T20 overseas signing in New Zealander Kane Williamson, as he joined Joe Root with Yorkshire needing a further 26 runs from their remaining 9 balls to deny Lancashire victory. Both batsmen scored fours in the penultimate over to set up a tense finale for all concerned.
As the 14th and final over came around, it saw Yorkshire requiring 17 runs to win and had Toby Lester being the man to try and see Lancashire home with the ball. After four balls in, it saw Lester giving up 12 runs from 4 balls and saw the home fans chewing their fingernails and others head in hands at what they was seeing from their side.
Joe Root then took a single to bring up his fifty in the game, and in difficult circumstances, edged his side closer to victory. The game came down to one last ball, to which four was needed to win, whilst the home side needed to avoid the ball hitting the boundary.
As the final ball was bowled by Lester, it saw Williamson throwing the bat to try and win it for Yorkshire, but he couldn’t generate enough power to send it on its way and was cut off by a fielder as the Viking ran two and saw Lancashire taking an epic Roses win by one run much to the delight of the home fans.
SCORECARD taken from ESPNCricinfo.com